A border patrol agent was shot and wounded at a traffic stop in Texas that resulted in another agent shooting and killing the suspect.
It was a routine traffic stop on a road frequently used by narcotics smugglers and illegal aliens. A sheriff’s deputy and another CBP officer were uninjured.
A passenger in the vehicle fired at the agents, injuring one of them. The second agent returned fire and hit the gunman, who was later pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle’s driver was taken into custody.
CBP later identified the deceased passenger as a 25-year-old man and a U.S. citizen. The driver was identified as a 32-year-old woman, also a U.S. citizen.
The agent who was shot was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was later airlifted to a San Antonio hospital, according to CBP. Neither the second agent nor the sheriff’s deputy were injured.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted about the incident Saturday night, saying, “Border Patrol Agents go out and do their duty each and every day despite the dangers. My prayers are with the agents involved and their families.”
Cruz is right. When you have U.S. Congressmen comparing border agents to Nazis and committing imaginary crimes like forcing illegal aliens to drink out of toilets, it’s open season on the agents.
And being a target has caused morale in the agency to plummet.
The Border Patrol, whose agents have gone from having one of the most obscure jobs in law enforcement to one of the most hated, is suffering a crisis in both mission and morale. Earlier this year, the disclosure of a private Facebook group where agents posted sexist and callous references to migrants and the politicians who support them reinforced the perception that agents often view the vulnerable people in their care with frustration and contempt.
Interviews with 25 current and former agents in Texas, California and Arizona — some conducted on the condition of anonymity so the agents could speak more candidly — paint a portrait of an agency in a political and operational quagmire. Overwhelmed through the spring and early summer by desperate migrants, many agents have grown defensive, insular and bitter.
It’s worse than any of the CBP critics can imagine:
The president of the agents’ union said he had received death threats. An agent in South Texas said some colleagues he knew were looking for other federal law enforcement jobs. One agent in El Paso told a retired agent he was so disgusted by scandals in which the Border Patrol has been accused of neglecting or mistreating migrants that he wanted the motto emblazoned on its green-and-white vehicles — “Honor First” — scratched off.
Those “scandals” are the result of hundreds of thousands of human beings completely overwhelming an agency that was not prepared for the onslaught. I find it ironic that Democratic congressmen denounce an agency for “cruelty” and “indifference” that they refused to fund adequately to meet the crisis.
It’s gotten a little better because Trump took actions that discouraged people from seeking asylum.
In recent months, the extreme overcrowding on the border has begun to ease, with migrants turned away and made to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed. Last week, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to close the door further, at least for now, by requiring migrants from countries outside Mexico to show they have already been denied refuge in another country before applying for asylum.
Just who’s the “cruel” one? Someone who takes desperate measures to alleviate the suffering of massive numbers of people or those opposing those measures for political reasons?